Missing Kim Jong Il raises health questions

By: CNN
By: CNN

PYONGYANG, North Korea (CNN) -- The absence of the North Korean president from Tuesday's parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Communist nation has revived questions about Kim Jong Il's health.

Thousands of North Koreans watched the military parade in Pyongyang.

1 of 2 A U.S. intelligence official told CNN Tuesday that Kim has been suffering from serious health problems, and may have had a stroke.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the White House is aware of the reports, but has no additional information.

There have been reports that Kim suffers from heart disease and diabetes but he has denied these.

Filling in for him at the parade was the second-in-command of The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yong Nam, said Naoko Aoki of Japan's Kyodo news agency, who reported from the event.

Kim also was absent at events on the eve of the anniversary, including a meeting of government officials, Aoki said.

North Koreans filled Pyongyang's main square, which can hold about 100,000 people, she said.

Participating in the parade were paramilitary troops, which are not part of North Korea's regular army -- there were no members of the regular army, navy or air force, Aoki said.

There were anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery on display, but no tanks or missiles, she added.

Kim also holds the post of supreme commander of the Korean People's Army.


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